Phonemandave Presents Keystone Telephone Co. of Philadelphia

Home Page 
About Phonemandave 
Western Electric Deskstands 
Western Electric Compact Wallphones 
Misc and Police Related Items 
Keystone Philadelphia Telephones
Keystone Philadelphia Novelty Items
Keystone Pittsburgh Telephones
Advice for Novice Collectors
Telephone Trivia
Links to Other Interesting Sites

There are a lot of images on these pages, please be patient when downloading.

I invite you to click on the small picture to see a larger version.
These photographs are not to scale

NOTE: There were at least two Keystone telephone companies located in Pennsylvania between 1894 & 1945/46.

The earlier known as the Keystone Telephone Co (approx. 1894-1898) was located in Pittsburgh. Additionally, there is evidence of the Keystone Electric Telephone Company (approx. 1901-1905) operating from the same address as the Keystone Telephone Co. Telephones and telephone parts produced by various manufacturers with Keystone attributes were utilized by Keystone from the Pittsburgh era. Some related manufacturers most likely were Western Telephone Construction, Manhattan Electric Supply, American Electric, Northwestern Telephone Equipment Co. and Burns.

Keystone Telephone Company of Philadelphia conducted business beginning January 1902 until September 1945 and utilized telephones manufactured by American Electric with attributes specific to Keystone. These attributes seemed to vary depending on the production year. There is speculation that all the Keystone companies were in some way related.

Keystone #43 Philadelphia Type

Click for Closeup
Larger View of Receiver

c.1902-1910 - This stick was supposedly produced specifically for Philadelphia service by Keystone. The transmitter cup is marked with the Keystone logo on the top and a serial number on the underside. From what I have found, it appears all Keystone telephones were produced by American Electric Company. This example is equipped with a rare American Electric pony receiver, used at the turn of the century on Keystone telephones. It appears in the 1900 catalog, therefore likely appropriate for this model during early production.....Besides, I like the look.

NOTE: Equipped with an American Electric glass mouthpiece often referred to as a "propeller mouthpiece." The adapter has threads that are tapered to fit various transmitters.

Keystone #43 Philadelphia Type (Another Variation)

Click Here for Larger View Close-up Detail
c. 1902-1910 - This is essentially the same stick as above with the option of black finish rather than the nickel plate. The option of the black finish was available only on the 2 conductor model.  The transmitter cup is marked with the Keystone logo and a serial number on the underside although the transmitter faceplate has no serial number and the shaft and base are painted black. This example is equipped with the early American Electric #25 receiver. Interestingly enough, catalog pictures display the model #43 with this receiver although many collectors display it with the later model having the Keystone logo. NOTE: American Electric porcelain mouthpiece.

Keystone Telephone Co. of Philadelphia Adjustable Telephone

Click picture for closeup Click picture for closeup
Click for larger view Click for larger view of Burns Backcup Click for detailed view of scissor arm

c.1903 - 1906 - This Burns Adjustable Telephone (or Burns Bracket Scissor Gate) for use on Flat or Roll Top Desks was offered in the Central Energy Telephone, American Electric Telephone Co. Bulletin No. 20. Although the bulletin is not dated, it appears from other documentation this phone was offered in 1903 - 1906, possibly as early as 1902.

According to the bulletin, the model with circuit #101 was produced specific for Keystone.

The model pictured here has KEYSTONE TELEPHONE CO PHILADELPHIA PAT APLD. FOR stamped into the transmitter backcup. On the scissor arm is stamped AMELEC.TEL.CO. MANFRS. CHICAGO PAT.APLD.FOR.

The "American Beauty" transmitter is unmarked and has no number tag.

Additionally, there are two different perches used on both the #43 Philadelphia Type (above) and this model. Equipped with an extremely rare American Electric #26 brass bottomed receiver.

NOTE: This Adjustable Phone, as well as the #26 and the #25 receivers are all displayed in the same American Electric Bulletin. (The #25 receiver is pictured on the manual phone below.)

I was privileged to have the 2 Keystone Iron Box Telephone Sets below offered to me by a long time collector. He didn't really know me personally, but knew I loved anything Keystone of Phila. They are 2 of my rarest and favorite pieces in my collection.

Keystone Iron Box Telephone Set #1

Click thumbnail for larger picture
c 1906 - This is the early model "Iron Box" telephone was produced for special, hotel, factory and residential use. I am unsure when production of this style phone began, but there is a date of 1906 stamped on the condenser tag inside. By 1910, the later style Iron Box (shown below) was offered. Both models are extremely rare. This one is equipped with an American Beauty transmitter having Keystone logo and a serial #13568 on the outer cup edge. The latest style receiver likely available at that date would be the model #25 which is shown. An American Electric OST pony receiver is likely correct as well.

Original celluloid card holder. I have never found out what info was displayed on the card. On the right side of the box, there is a large Keystone shaped badge with the serial #10068 and Keystone logo as well as American Electric info.

Keystone Iron Box Telephone Set #2

c 1910 - In the American Electric Central Energy Catalog, this phone is identified as the #55 Iron Box, made for special and regular hotel service for the Keystone Telephone Co. of Phila. Described in the 1910 Keystone Co of Phila. Catalog as the #4 Iron Box Telephone Set with black enamel finish suitable for hotels, factories, and residence service.

Pictures in both catalogs show this phone with the earlier transmitter (as shown on the Phila desk stand model above). This one was found with the later style transmitter (post 1910ish) having the Keystone logo stamped on the lower portion of the face. This model should be equipped with the earlier style #25 inside terminal receiver, not the later style with the Keystone/Philadelphia logo on the cap.